The Alvin Community College Foundation presented $11,600 in grants at the President’s Tea on April 29.
The Innovative Initiative Grants are designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize and reward innovative and creative approaches to fulfill the mission of Alvin Community College. The grants will be used for the 2013-14 academic year.
“These grants allow faculty and staff to develop new initiatives to support student success and a positive environment at ACC,” President Jody Droege said.
Grants were awarded to support the Upward Bound Program, Dual Credit instructors, students needing career advisement, the ACC mascot Blue, an emergency loan program, a visiting artists program, an English as a Second Language program and an election guide project.
The Foundation awarded $1,000 for the Increasing Upward Bound Student Interest in the Arts which will be used for activities that will educate the students about environmental issues and expose them to arts of different cultures. This is the second year for Upward Bound to receive a grant.
Dual Credit enrollment is rapidly growing at the five high school campuses that ACC serves. The Foundation awarded $1,000 to the program for an orientation session to help give faculty effective training that includes information on classroom expectations, responsibilities, database system information, class technology needs and more. The grant will provide training for more than 100 faculty members.
Research suggests college students with a clearly defined career path have a much better chance of completing their education than students who do not. The Real World Career Planning Program received a $1,000 grant that will go towards providing free access to career testing including the Strong Interest Inventory and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Taking the tests will help student create a clearly defined career path.
A $1,200 grant for the Love Ya Blue program will help fund two scholarships for students who would be responsible for serving as the ACC mascot Blue. The dedicated student team will help Blue meet his appearance demands in the community.
Many students needing financial aid often face life situations beyond their control where they are not able to pay tuition and fees up front. The Foundation issued a $1,000 grant to provide funding to students facing such emergency circumstances in order for them to stay enrolled at ACC.
ACC does not currently offer English as a Second Language instruction for students. A $1,400 grant was given to the Jumpstarting ESL program which would help students needing assistance learning English through DynEd software. The program will fund software purchases as well as a scholarship for students speaking English as a second language who need assistance paying their tuition.
With an aim to educate students about current trends in Art, the Foundation awarded $1,000 to the Visiting Artists at ACC Art Studios program, which would invite painters, sculptors and illustrators to the campus to teach their unique styles. This grant would help fund visits from artists, marketing for their visits and workshops.
Hoping to educate students and the community about candidates running for local offices, $1,000 was awarded to the ACC Elections and Policy Center program which would help create non-partisan voting guides for Brazoria County elections. The program would fund two scholarships for students to help gather research about the local elections. It will also help pay printing costs for the guides which will be distributed throughout Brazoria County.
The ACC Foundation also awarded three grants that were part of the “Adopt a Grant” program. Guests at the 2013 Christmas Gala were asked to support three different projects with $100 individual donations.
Biology Department Chair Dwight Rhodes received $1,500 to continue development of a community garden on campus that, once finished, will cultivate methods to help establish additional gardens. Fresh Fruit for All received an Innovative Initiative grant in 2012 and 2013 which helped pay for several varieties of fruit trees as well as constructing a new storage shed for the garden.
Drama Department Chair Jay Burton was awarded $1,500 for the Summer Children’s Theatre Festival. For 30 years, the Summer Children Theatre Festival has given area children with the opportunity to produce and perform a live play. The festival has long been supported by grants from the Foundation.
The Foundation also awarded $50,500 in grants and donations to a project that will install 12 solar-powered light fixtures along a portion of the 2-mile jogging trail on campus. The grant funds will be used to purchase the lights and for installation. The 100-Watt lights will increase safety for walkers and runners. Construction is scheduled to finish by summer.
The ACC Foundation also presented faculty and staff members with the Foundation Excellence Awards which recognizes college’s Technical, Clerical, Support and Maintenance employees, an administrative staff employee and a faculty member. Winners this year are ACC Accounts Payable specialist Ronda Rezek, academic advisor Toby Herzog and Jessica Murphy, Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography Department Chair. Each received $1,000.
The ACC Foundation has worked hard in the past year and provided nearly $130,000 to scholarship programs and staff development which will benefit the college now and in the future, Droege said.